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PBS News Hour Weekend

News/Business. Hari Sreenivasan. (2013) Natural gas companies and environmentalists work together to make fracking safer. New. (CC) (Stereo)

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Pennsylvania 5, Obama Administration 4, Us 4, Brownstein 4, Hari Sreenivasan 3, Egypt 3, U.s. 3, New York 3, John Lennon 2, Snowden 2, Bernard 2, Irene Schwartz 2, John Kerry 2, Roslyn 2, Joyce V. Hail 1, Iran 1, Josh Weston 1, Ayatollah Khamenei 1, Morsi 1, Banksy 1,
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  PBS    PBS News Hour Weekend    News/Business. Hari Sreenivasan.  (2013) Natural gas  
   companies and environmentalists work together to make fracking...  

    November 3, 2013
    5:30 - 6:00pm PST  

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♪ on this edition for sunday, november 3rd, secretary of state john kerry offers eye h assurance to egyptian leaders. and fracking and environmental lifts. >> you have to take time to talk to folks on their terms. and the fine line between street art and vandalism. >> the twist in the story is that when he vandalizes your property, its value goes up instead of going down. >> next on p bchls news hour weekend. made in part possible by judy and josh weston, joyce v. hail,
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the wallach family. the cheryl and phillip family, bernard and irene schwartz. roslyn p. walter. corporate funding is provided by -- mutual of america. designing customized individual and group retirement projects. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support is provided by -- and by -- the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tish wnet studios, hari sreenivasan. >> good evening. thanks for joining us. secretary of state john kerry has stopped in egypt. he sought to urge leaders that the united states stands behind its once close ally. >> the united states will continue to provide support that
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directly benefits the egyptian people in health and scholarships and private sector development and we are continuing assistance to help secure egypt's borders. >> the u.s. recently suspended much of its $1.3 billion military aid package to egypt because of the o ucuster of mohd morsi. it says they are unhappy with the u.s. criticism of egypt's new government, what they consider tepid u.n. support for the syrian rebels and ongoing nuclear negotiations with iran. in iran, the supreme leader ayatollah khamenei offered support for the west about the nuclear program. this comes as conservatives in
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iran have a conciliatory tone. the discussions between on thursday in geneva. the former national security agency contractor, edward snowden, one former aide to the chancellor said that snowden has done the western world a great service and it's up to us to help him. today on "face the nation," rejecting the idea that snowden be granted any clemency. >> can he had an opportunity if what he was was a whistle blower to pick up the phone and call the house intelligence committee, the senate intelligence committee. that didn't happen. and now he's done this enormous disservice to our country and i think the answer is no clemency. >> a republican counterpart in the house also dismissed the idea. >> no, i don't see any reason. you know, we -- i wouldn't do that. >> the suspect in friday's fatal
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shooting of a tchl sa altsa age has been charged with murder. paul ciancia wrote a note indicating that he intended to die during the attack. he survived after being wounded by the police. four prominent scientists, including james hansen, distributed a joint letter citing the need for nuclear power plants. they wrote renewables like wind and solar and biomass cannot scale up fast enough to deliver cheap and power at the scale the global economy requires. there's no credible path to climate stabilization that does not include a substantial role for nuclear power. honda is recalling 344,000 of its 2007 and 2008 odd see minivans saying that the van's
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brake and they are not aware of any problems related to the brake problem. runners participated in the new york marathon. the two winners were kenyans. we're talking about a new executive order by president obama requiring local governments and federal agencies to account for climate change when they undertake big new projects. for more, we're joined from washington by margaret tolive. if we're just catching up here, what were those changes? what was the executive order saying? >> so the executive order is telling federal agencies and local governments and especially federal agencies to analyze all of the risks that climate change may have to their missions and what they do, to talk about what they are already doing and what they should be doing and sets up a task force to put all of these
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suggestions and recommendations together and analysis over the next nine months. >> does the forecast have any teeth or how does it work across the different agencies? >> what is interesting about this task force is it is laying down the policy inside the obama administration for the sort of stuff he can't do through congress and so the real question comes to funding. we need "x" amount of dollars to rebridge this bridge, shore up this shoreline, work on roads and infrastructure and be prepared for wildfires and excessive heat, it will ultimately be up to congress to decide how to appropriate but to the extent he can use executive power to further his policy goals and say, hey, i believe climate change exists and we need to take it seriously. this is his effort to do that. >> so what does it mean for a local government? all of those things that you
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outlined raising bridges and so forth, that all costs money. >> if local governments want to make the case that they needed added infrastructure dollars, they can certainly do it in this context to say we're coastal, we're in a tornado zone, or what have you. but to the extent the local governments don't want to actively participate, the question then becomes is the federal government going to be at least under the obama administration holding this executive order and this policy over their heads as a threat to withhold funding. >> there was a recent report out by the army corps of engineers, a three-year long study to look at how climate change can affect the naval base in norfolk, virginia. parts of that naval base could be under water. when we look at communities, including military communities, is the department of defense affected by this, too? >> that's absolutely right. among the agencies that are tasked with coming up with an
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analysis over the course of the next nine months is front and center the department of defense and housing and urban development and the epa and such. the d.o.d. is one of the focuses of the folks who are being asked to assess how climate change may impact their mission and what they do. >> so now there's an executive order, a task force for nine months, what happens next. >> the nine-month period is really interesting because it's widely expected to overlap the period of time where the obama administration is going to be pak making a decision on the keystone pipeline out of canada which is an issue that the canadians want approved and the environmental community has rallied against. so for the obama administration, the timetable of this is going to overlap or coincide very likely with that decision. so a lot of what happens over the next nine months may be political, who is joining the task force, what are they asking for, how does this dovetail with
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the political case he's making that he's a steward of the environment. >> margaret, thanks so much. >> you it. ♪ and now to our signature segment featuring in-depth reporting from around the nation and from around the world. for years now energy companies have been drilling underground to extract natural gas using a process known as fracking and for just as long, many environmentalists have insisted that it's just not that safe. we look at an unlikely coalition that has formed in pennsylvania between some environmental lifts and a number of oil and gas companies. they say it will allow fracking to continue and ensure that safeguards are taken. rick carr reports.
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>> environmentalists have been protesting against fracking in pennsylvania ever since the natural gas boom about ten years ago. >> a resounding no to fracking in our parks. >> reporter: their main concern is that the chemicals pumped into wells at high pressure to extract the gas will leak or spill into lakes and streams. advocates of fracking say the threat of contamination has been grossly exaggerated but environmentalists say oil and gas companies need to come clean about the risks. >> it is fundamentally an untruth to walk into a community and say that this is a 100% safe process. it isn't. no industrial process is. make no mistake about it, the risks are real and they are substantial. >> so when they talk about natural gas, people often ask me the question, is it good or bad for the environment. >> reporter: despite all of those concerns, mark brown is
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now working with oil and gas companies that are fracking in pennsylvania. brownstein says the environmental group isn't in favor of fracking but it is in favor of using more natural gas as an alternative to coal because gas is cleaner. a new report by the environmental protection agency says that u.s. power plants have recently cut their total greenhouse gas emissions by more than 6%. mostly because so many have switched from coal to gas. brownstein believes natural gas is the fossil fuel we should be using until we get our energy from renewable resources like wind and solar power. >> that's what we want but we also understand that it's going to take some time to get there. and the question is, what do you do in the meantime? >> so a little over two years ago the environmental defense fund started to talk to the companies fracking for gas in pennsylvania. the ones that so many other environmentalists see as the enemy. >> and in order to make change,
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you have to take the time to learn their industry, learn their concerns and be able to talk with folks on their terms about what you see the problems are and also what you see the opportunities are to fix those problems. >> reporter: one of the oil and gas companies brownstein approached also saw an opportunity. paul goodfellow is a shell executive. >> this idea of having a rational conversation with people, looking at the facts and think about how collectively we can raise the performance bar and i think it's a conversation that we can do with more taking place. >> reporter: earlier this year, shell and three other energy companies joined the environmental defense funds and six nonprofits to form a coalition called the sustainable shell development. its first order of business was
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to announce a set of environmental standards for fracking which brownstein will help with the state and federal regulations. >> what we're hoping to do with this project, frankly, is constantly push the envelope in terms of what is possible, certify companies to that higher standard, let that be an example for regulators, sure, but for others in an industry, too, as to what is possible. and in so doing you're constantly trying to move this forward in a positive and in a better direction. >> reporter: three of the 15 standards that the group announced are aimed at reducing diesel emissions at fracking sites. seven are aimed at keeping the fracking chemicals out of the water supplies, lakes, and rivers. right away environmentalists split into two camps.
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they touted it as a breakthrough and many saw it as empty rhetoric from the energy companies. >> do we just have to take shell's word and the word of the other energy companies that you're going to abide by these higher standards? >> no. because i think the key element is not just the fact that there are 15 performance standards that have been written. it's a fact that it's independent or literature will come around and verify that there are operations executing to those standards. it's about having the independent very fine and comes and looks at our prices in pennsylvania and says, yes, you are meeting the standards. >> i will start to believe that it make as difference the very first time that somebody stops drilling a well or doesn't drill a well based on one of those standards. >> reporter: john is an anti fracking environmentalist. >> the amount of benefit to the environment, absolutely none.
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the benefit to the industry is you've got a new myth that says the environmentalists are now on boa board. >> reporter: a retired engineer, he believes it's impossible to frac for gas safely. >> i think there's a mind set in the industry that what really matters is under the ground and you don't choose your sites based on what is on top, the houses and the trees. you choose it based on how much you are going to get. >> reporter: fracking wells have been popping up closer and closer to his native pittsburgh, places that are important to him. >> my grandkids played in this park. our older ones learned to play down the road. >> reporter: this could earn the county 2 to $4 million up front according to the county executive and as much as $700,000 a year in royalties after that. can you blame in this time of
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budget deficits a county government for saying, we'd like to have that money? >> i think there's something more important at stake here. are you going to sell anything and everything? i'd like to see us start off by deciding that there's some places that are not worth it, even if they took some of that money and built a boat dock or concession stand or something like that. this is not just a plastic entertainment venue. this is a slice of nature that we can treat as nature. if we frac underneath it, deep down it's just another factory even if it has grass on top. >> reporter: fracking has made gas so inexpensive that it's distracting americans to invest in renewable energy sources and the coalition with oil and gas companies is only going to make the situation worse. >> do they have a point at all there? >> i understand where the passion is coming from. and i share that. but to stand by and do nothing,
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to minimize risks to public health and the environment from fossil fuel production is unacceptable to me. >> reporter: mark brownstein says that if the evidence shows that oil and gas companies in the coalition are not serious about i am profession the environmental standards for fracking, the edf will walk away a and make sure that everyone knows why. for now using a phrase that ronald reagan used when he sat down with the soviets, trust but verify. >> questions about fracking? go to newshour@pbs.org. day after day, tech-savvy new yorkers went online to find the latest work of art known only as banci.
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his work is admired and even by the police. that raises the question, does that undermine a subverse sif form of expression? tracy wolf reports. >> reporter: new york city is a mecca for the art. but this is not located in a museum. this exhibit is taking place on the street of the five burrows. it's called waiting to hang and it goens goes by the name of a man banksy. this was not a commissioned piece by the owner. it's a work of street art, an illegal painting or what some might consider vandalism. >> the twist in the banksy story is that when he vandalizes your
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property, its value goes up instead of going down. that is not related to aerosol. >> a website that documents street artists and many others all over the world. what is street art? >> street art is an outgrowth of the graffiti tradition which began in new york and philadelphia depending on who you speak to in the '60s and '70s. but in the public space, usually illegally. >> reporter: during his residency in new york, banksy produced a piece a day and the media tracked his every move. what sets him apart from other street artists is that banksy pieces are highly sought after
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and highly valuable. like this piece. it sold at auction for more than $600,000, money that was donated to charity. a handful of street artists have graduated from the street to the auction house but as the popularity of the movement grows, some worry that the subv subversive nature is being lost. >> right now all eyes are on street art and it's being adapted into many commercial uses. >> reporter: so what sets street art apart from graffiti? although they can appear similar, graffiti artists primarily use aerosol paint lettering to write letters and texts where it's all mediums to express themselves. >> this is an invader and the french artists, those are made
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of rubix cubes. >> you have to solve the puzzle first. >> yes. and he can. and he can. >> reporter: street artists also use stickers and stencils such as this banksy truck filled with squeaky toys driving around manhattan. preparing and posting art on private or public property while trying to avoid authorities. >> you are trespassing on private property. >> a ticket. the court date is january 2nd. >> reporter: but because of street art's growing appeal, many landlords are now inviting artists to paint their walls, like this block in brooklyn finished last week. the landlord provided the paint.
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is it still street art if it's legal? >> people will vary on what the definitions are but because i always say that it came from graffiti, graffiti is largely done illegally. it's based on this idea of being transgressive or being a vandal and true street artists consider that a very important part of their practice. >> and the threat of being arrested may explain why knowing exactly who banksy is remains a mystery today. >> a few quick footnotes. three men arrested in queens yesterday fortre trespassing. they were accused of trying to remove inflated lettering from banksy. you can find an international street art tour at our website as well. ♪ this is "pbs newshour
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weekend" sunday. finally tonight, buying a piece of history. earlier this week there was an auction in england for a modest home but it was the home's history that fetched offers from around the world. the auction occurred in a city with a very rich musical history in liverpool in a music club where very young men performed before the rest of us even heard of them. >> reporter: this may look fairly unremarkable but when this three-bedroom terrace went up for sale t. triggered a bidding war. not perhaps because of the spacious kitchen or the original staircase but rather because of who used to use them. ♪ because of all of the people living life in peace ♪
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>> reporter: john lennon remains one of the all-time greats. so when his childhood home was put up for auction, fittingly at the cabin club, bids came in from all over the world. the house had a price of 150,000 pounds but ended up going for more than three times that. >> it's 480,000 pounds. the successful bidder, an anonymous american. >> the bidders obviously tend to find that you go up and once it gets started. >> reporter: so while money may not be able to buy you love, it seems it can buy you a whole lot of history. the chance for a new owner to find out what john lennon was up to in his house a stone's throw away from penny lane.
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join us on the newshour tomorrow on air and online. the trial of egypt's on tuchlte president morsi. and submit street art in your neighborhood via twitter and facebook. we leave you now with some of those images. i'm hari sreenivasan. thanks for watching. i'm hari sreenivasan. thanks for watching. ♪ -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com
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"pbs newshour weekend" is made possible by louise and hirschfeld, the wallach family in memory of miriam and bernard and irene schwartz, roslyn. designing customized and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support is provided by -- and by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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